A brand new movie, Umakoti Wethu, has premiered on Showmax. The new arrival is led by Fulu Mugovhani, who takes on the role of a certain Khathu. She’s a Venda woman struggling to conceive, and finds herself in crisis when her Zulu husband’s new job takes them back to KwaZulu-Natal, where his overbearing mother and his old flame enter the scene.
SAFTA nominee Melusi Mbele (Isibaya) co-stars as her husband Sizwe, with rising star Kwanele Mthethwa (Isithembiso, Abomama S2) delivering a breakthrough performance as Nobuhle, the woman caught in the middle of this love triangle with a twist. Duduzile Ngcobo (Durban Gen, eHostela, Uzalo) also features as Khathu’s disapproving mother-in-law.
“Umakoti Wethu is about family matters,” says Fulu, who’s acted in everything from Ayanda to Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word, One Night Kwa Mxolisi to Seriously Single, Ring of Lies to Still Breathing. “It follows a couple who are going through a transformation in their relationship. They want to grow their family in every way but with that comes challenges.”
Fulu jumped at the chance to speak her language on screen. “I’ve played many Venda characters but not a lead,” she says. “So it’s great to see a minority language represented on a bigger scale.”
Beyond Black Productions executive producer Moeketsi Moeketsi says Umakoti Wethu is an attempt to “pay homage to a beautiful part of the isiZulu culture while in the same breath giving voice to those individuals that may not always be heard within that same culture.”
In particular, Kwanele hopes Umakoti Wethu creates more understanding about “what queer people go through almost every single day of their lives.”
She describes her character Nobuhle as “a young lady who comes from a well-respected family. She grew up under this immense pressure to do good and be perfect. Nobuhle discovers that she is lesbian but she doesn’t have the courage to act on it. She finds it difficult to come out because of how taboo homosexuality is in her community.”
Fulu adds that South African audiences will recognise the family dynamics in Umakoti Wethu. “All of us in one way or another know somebody who is in that position of being unaccepted by the family.”
Umakoti Wethu is the feature film directorial debut of Nozipho Nkelemba, who starred in The Forgotten Kingdom, directed Gomora and wrote Emoyeni. Christopher Mashile co-directs and executive produces. Moeketsi, Christopher and writer Nandisa Mkize, the co-founders of Beyond Black Productions, are all MultiChoice Talent Factory graduates.
Fulu says she respects her character Khathu’s “ability to find contingency plans in her life and to be adaptable… That’s a good quality to have because sometimes, what you wrote down as your five or 10-year plan, it changes for the better.”
She adds, “I also appreciate that she had the courage to follow her heart. She allowed love to just be love and break down the confines of what society says love is.”
Kwanele agrees. “I hope that our audience will learn that sometimes you should do what you want because life is too short. You don’t want to regret not doing what you’ve always wanted to do, just because you’re worried about other people’s opinions.”
Daniel Craig Must Finish What he Started on ‘No Time to Die’
Out in cinemas on 1 October 2021.
Daniel Craig returns as superspy James Bond in No Time To Die for the fifth and final time.
A Giant Asteroid Could Destroy Earth & Hollywood A-Listers on ‘Don’t Look Up’
The budget, chile.
Don’t Look Up packs a high-powered cast bursting with Hollywood’s biggest names, and a punch.
We are talking about giant budget because the Netflix dark comedy, coming out on December 24th, features a bunch of Oscar winners and the highest paid actors as they avoid a looming asteroid that will destroy the earth. We’re going to toast to Kid Cudi and Arianna Grande for getting in there.
Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) make an astounding discovery of a comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem — it’s on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem? No one really seems to care. Turns out warning mankind about a planet-killer the size of Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact to navigate.
With the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), Kate and Randall embark on a media tour that takes them from the office of an indifferent President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), to the airwaves of The Daily Rip, an upbeat morning show hosted by Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry). With only six months until the comet makes impact, managing the 24-hour news cycle and gaining the attention of the social media obsessed public before it’s too late proves shockingly comical — what will it take to get the world to just look up?!
Written and directed by Adam McKay, the film also stars Mark Rylance, Ron Perlman, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi), Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Michael Chiklis and Tomer Sisley.
Don’t Look Up arrives on Netflix on 24 December 2021.